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Birmingham & Solihull Bees - Match centre

Birmingham & Solihull
Dings Crusaders
Sat 5 Jan 14:30 - RFU National - National 2 South Full time

Dings win provides new year tonic

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Bees show character and composure in 25-15 home win

If the longest journeys proverbially begin with a single step, the Bees took an important stride along the road to survival in National League 2 South with an impressive 25-15 win against Dings Crusaders at Portway.

The win against mid table Dings closed the gap between the Bees and Old Redcliffians - the side just above the relegation zone – to 11 points, at the beginning of what could be a critical phase of the season.

The home side had a dream start, with winger Luke Smith using his pace to finish off a great break by Umraan Jadwat in the first minute. Jolly’s well taken conversion gave the Bees a 7-0 lead and important momentum in what was justifiably billed as a “must win” game.

Dings fly off Sam Perry and Jack Jolly traded penalties before the visitor’s blindside flanker Tom Knight meandered through the Bees defence to register the Bristol side’s first try of the afternoon after 25 minutes. Some excellent work by Matt Dight, charging down the conversion, denied Dings parity on the scoreboard.

With Knight’s openside colleague Stean Williams earning himself a yellow card, the Bees piled on the pressure in the closing stages of the first half and were rewarded with a try for Matt Spink, who was on hand to deftly take the reverse pop pass from Jolly to score with some flamboyance under the posts. The extras were safely added by the Bees’ skipper to give his side a deserved 17-8 advantage at the break.

Fourteen-man Dings managed to hold out against a sustained Bees barrage in the opening 9 minutes of the second half. It was ironic, therefore, that with Williams back on the pitch, Umraan Jadwat took the blindside option to score from an attacking scrum 5 metres out.

Despite being short with the conversion, the 22-8 lead against a beefy Dings pack showed an encouraging level of control from the Bees side.

Although Dings narrowed the gap to seven points with 25 minutes to go with a try by replacement Josh Trinham, converted by scrum half Steve Plummer, there was no sign of panic in the home side ranks.

Instead, Jolly wisely took the three points on offer from a penalty to extend the lead to two scores and then adeptly, through organised and disciplined defence repelled a final push from the Crusaders. Late pressure from the home side failed to yield an icing on the cake fourth try bonus point, but players, performance team and home spectators were pleased enough with the four league points bagged in the 25-15 win.

The performance put in by all those that wore the Bees shirt was outstanding, against a Dings Crusaders side who played their part in serving up a highly entertaining contest. The Bees’ set piece was excellent –resources available required the front row of Willis, Pearl and Bingham to play a full 80 minutes and the scrum was solid all afternoon, whilst Danny Wright was peerless at the line out.

Encouraged by this victory, Pete Glackin’s squad face a tricky away trip down to the West Country this coming weekend (Saturday 12th January KO 2.30pm) to play fourth placed Taunton Titans.

Bees v Dings Crusaders: 1. Alex Willis, 2. Stewart Pearl, 3. Nick Bingham, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Matt Spink (T), 6.Danny Wright, 7.Michael Stephens, 8.Umraan Jadwat (T), 9. Jack Jolly (C) (2P,2C), 10. Harry O’Brien, 11 Matt Dight, 12. Jimmy Oliver, 13.Dan Kelly,14.Luke Smith (T) 15, Ben Phillips.

Replacements: 16. Ashley Scriven, 17. Marcus Brown, 18. Keenan Copper, 19. Ed Krawiecki,20. Adam Nunney.

Referee:- Tim Allatt, ARs Leo Burton, Matthew Shepherd

Team selection

Phillips, Ben Phillips, Ben
Smith, Luke Smith, Luke
Kelly , Dan Kelly , Dan
Oliver, Jimmy Oliver, Jimmy
Dight, Matthew Dight, Matthew
O'Brien, Harry O'Brien, Harry
Jolly, Jack Jolly, Jack
Dixon Jadwat, Umraan Dixon Jadwat, Umraan
Stephens, Michael Stephens, Michael
Wright, Danny Wright, Danny
Weaver, Andrew Weaver, Andrew
Spink, Matt Spink, Matt
Bingham, Nick Bingham, Nick
Pearl, Stewart Pearl, Stewart
Willis, Alex Willis, Alex

League round up

Other National 2 South results

17
28
Worthing Raiders
Henley
12
19
Canterbury
47
12
44
31
Tonbridge Juddians
Old Albanian
20
24

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Old Albanian 30 66
11. Barnes 30 66
12. Old Redcliffians 30 60
13. Dings Crusaders 30 56
14. Birmingham & Solihull 30 50
15. Guernsey 30 49
16. London Irish Wild Geese 30 33

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